NFC South draft capsules

1. BUCCANEERS (2-14) LAST SEASON: A major disappointment in first year under coach Lovie Smith and rookie General Manager Jason Licht, who spent generously in free agency to try to bring in a new quarterback, upgrade a porous offensive line and bolster one of the NFL’s weakest defenses. Most of the… Continue reading →

Receiver Devin Smith says the Saints think he is a great player

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Devin Smith (9) makes a catch near the end zone against Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Jabriel Washington (23) setting up a field goal during the College Football Playoff Semi

. Devin Smith recently came to New Orleans to meet with the Saints for a pre-draft visit and received a strong review from coach Sean Payton and wide receivers coach John Morton. “They like what they’ve seen on film,” Smith said during an interview with WWL’s Kristian Garic. “They think I’m a great player and think… Continue reading →

NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock thinks the Saints could draft Randy Gregory

Randy Gregory (AP photo/Nati Harnik)

Randy Gregory very well might end up the best pass rusher to come out of next week’s draft. He also might become a cautionary tale. There’s no question the Nebraska pass rusher is one of the more talented players in this draft class, but off-field concerns, which includes a failed drug test at February’s scouting combine, could cause him to drop well… Continue reading →

With draft board set, Saints coach Sean Payton, his staff now tackling next crucial part of preparation

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Saints coach Sean Payton during the first quarter against Kansas City Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, of the first preseason game of the year at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

There’s pressure. There’s always pressure. It doesn’t really make a difference to Sean Payton that the New Orleans Saints are coming off a 7-9 season and are the midst of reworking their roster. He approaches the draft the same way he always has. Added urgency? Maybe to observers, but that feeling isn’t shared inside the… Continue reading →

Rabalais: Saints’ schedule looks better than last year’s, but the start of the season looks mighty tough

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Saints coach Sean Payton

The Pelicans are in the midst of a playoff series against the NBA’s top team, Golden State. LSU and Tulane played in baseball Tuesday night, the prelude to a huge No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown this weekend between the Tigers and Texas A&M. The PGA Tour is swinging through south Louisiana this week with the Zurich Classic… Continue reading →

New Orleans Saints open up their 2015 season with a Honey Badger sighting at the Arizona Cardinals

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) drops back to pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Rogelio Solis)

Week 1 at Cardinals When: 3:05 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13 TV: Fox Need to know: The Cardinals started three quarterbacks but still managed to make the playoffs. The reason? They protected the football. Despite the QB uncertainty, the trio threw a combined 12 interceptions last year. Cardinals in 2014: 11-5 Week 2 vs. Bucs When: Noon Sunday, Sept. 20 TV: Fox Need to know: It’s likely that the… Continue reading →

Bigger video boards, other improvements coming to the Superdome and the Smoothie King Center

Rendering provided by the New Orleans Saints -- An artist rendering of renovations to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

New, larger video boards for both the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the Smoothie King Center are the most notable features of a joint $39.5 million investment in upgrades for the facilities coming over the next two years. Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson is providing the bulk of the funding — $25 million — with $6 million coming… Continue reading →

Scott Rabalais' game-by-game Saints predictions: New Orleans will celebrate winning season in 2015

How will Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints fare in 2015? Columnist Scott Rabalais give his game-by-game projections. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

The Saints finished the 2014 season one game short of the playoffs. Will that happen again? Columnist Scott Rabalais offers his game-by-game predictions for the upcoming season. View the slideshow above.… Continue reading →

Give 'em a break: Four thoughts, hopes, wishes for New Orleans Saints’ 2015 schedule

Associated Press file photo by Bob Leverone -- Running back Mark Ingram and the Saints escaped with a 28-10 win over Carolina in October. But the road game, just four days after a Sunday night game against the Packers, was a scheduling nightmare for the Saints.

We’ve known for months who the opponents are and where the games will be played. Now we’re finally about to find out when those games will take place. The NFL announced that it will release the schedules for the 2015 season at 7 p.m. Tuesday, which means we will soon know how the games… Continue reading →

Lewis: Study shows NFL schedule could be more equitable, but getting a fair shake isn’t all it takes to win

A New England Patriots fan shows his support in the first half of an NFL football game between the Patriots and the Buffalo Bills  Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

By now, we all know that the reason the Saints didn’t make the playoffs last season was because they had an unfair amount of games against teams coming off their bye week or Thursday night games. Right? Well, maybe that wasn’t the only reason. But according to research done by a group from the University of… Continue reading →

NFL schedule to be announced on Tuesday

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) works before the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The NFL has announced that the schedule for the 2015 will come out on Tuesday. The Saints will play Atlanta, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Dallas, the Giants, Jacksonville, Tennessee and Detroit at home. New Orleans travels to Atlanta, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Washington, Houston, Indianapolis and Arizona. The dates and times for those games will be set Tuesday. More to come..Continue reading →

Saints begin offseason training program

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Saints Jairus Byrd reacts to Mark Ingram cut at the line of scrimmage during training camp.

The Saints are back to work. The team’s offseason training program kicks off Monday, with the first phase of the itinerary consisting of weight training and conditioning work. Attendance for these sessions is voluntary. The team can not do on-field workouts for two weeks, at which point contact and full-team workouts are prohibited. Full-team practices can begin on May 26. New Orleans has… Continue reading →

Draft will be critical for the future of the Saints

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton watches during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Sam Riche)

The previous most important draft in New Orleans Saints history looks easy now. After it became known that the Houston Texans would select Mario Williams with the first pick in 2006, all first-year Saints coach Sean Payton had to do was convince Reggie Bush that New Orleans was the right place for him. The city… Continue reading →

Greg Jennings leaves New Orleans following visit with Saints

Greg Jennings’ visit with the Saints has come to an end.

The veteran wide receiver met with the team on Thursday and left New Orleans later that evening. It was the last visit he currently has scheduled after also meeting with the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars, according to a source.

Jennings has also received interest from the… Continue reading →

Former Xavier basketball standout Sydney Coleman to work out for Saints

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH--Xavier's Sydney Coleman takes a shot during a college basketball game against Dillard University at Xavier University in New Orleans, Saturday, on Feb. 28, 2015.

Former Xavier University forward Sydney Coleman has dumped dunking — his favorite basketball feat — in favor of a new sport. It’s a switch, which if successful, will allow him to follow the unorthodox NFL path of All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham. Coleman wants to play for the New Orleans Saints. He worked out for the… Continue reading →

Wide receiver Greg Jennings is meeting with the Saints today

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints free safety Jairus Byrd (31) tackles Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings (15) in the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014.

Greg Jennings is in town to meet with the Saints. After being released by the Minnesota Vikings, the wide receiver has been a bit of a tour the past few weeks, making stops to meet with the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars. On Thursday, he arrived in New Orleans to meet with the Saints, according to a… Continue reading →

Keenan Lewis says he will wear No. 21 next season

Keenan Lewis changing part of his identity. On Instagram, the Saints cornerback announced that he will surrender No. 28 to newly-signed running back C.J. Spiller and will wear No. 21 next season. “(Twenty-eight) mean a lot to Spiller and I respect that,” Lewis wrote. “I’m not selfish. (I’m) a team guy.” In a separate post, Lewis said he will buy his… Continue reading →

Source: Saints meeting with defensive tackle Corey Wootton

Defensive tackle Corey Wootton is meeting with the Saints on Wednesday, according to a source. The free agent spent last season with the Minnesota Vikings after spending the previous four with the Chicago Bears. Playing in a limited role, he finished the 2014 season with 16 tackles and one sack. Wootton’s best season came in 2012 when he finished with… Continue reading →

Saints agree to terms with center Mike Golic Jr.

The Saints are adding additional depth at center. New Orleans has reportedly reached an agreement to bring center Mike Golic Jr. back to town, according to ESPN. Golic, a product of Notre Dame, hooked on with the Saints last summer but was released after the team acquired Jonathan Goodwin. Golic joined the Motreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, but was… Continue reading →

Saints spend week talking with draft prospects

Associated Press photo by CHARLES REX ARBOGAST -- New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton watches during the first half against the Chicago Bears on Monday.

The Saints spent the week getting to know a couple of the draft’s more interesting prospects. The team had Washington cornerback Marcus Peters in town for a visit Monday and met with Nebraska pass rusher Randy Gregory on Tuesday, according to sources. The team also met with UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks, Washington State defensive tackle… Continue reading →

Report: Wide receiver Greg Jennings to visit Saints

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans Saints cornerback Corey White (24) tries to bring down Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings (15) during the fourth quarter Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

. After leaving Jacksonville without a deal, Greg Jenning’s free-agent tour will head to New Orleans. The veteran wide receiver, who was released by the Vikings in March two years into a five-year, $45 million contract, will next meet with the Saints, according to the NFL Network. Jennings has also visited the Carolina Panthers and… Continue reading →

Saints draft prospect Randy Gregory: City of New Orleans 'seems pretty boring to me'

FILE - In a Sept. 6, 2014, file photo then-Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory wears street clothes before an NCAA college football game against McNeese State in Lincoln, Neb. Randy Gregory says he's tested positive for marijuana at the NFL scouting com

New Orleans Saints draft prospect Randy Gregory likely didn't make a great first impression with fans... Continue reading →

Here are financial terms Saints put in Anthony Spencer's contract

. As expected, the Anthony Spencer signing carries a minimal financial risk for the New Orleans Saints. The pass rushers’ one-year deal with the Saints comes with an $870,000 base salary and an $80,000 signing bonus. The deal qualifies for the minimum benefit, meaning it counts only $655,000 against the salary cap. Spencer spent the first eight years of his career… Continue reading →

Source: Washington defensive back Marcus Peters among handful of prospects visiting Saints on Monday

Former Washington player Marcus Peters motions as he works out at Washington's pro day Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

. The Saints continue to show interest in Marcus Peters. The Washington cornerback is among a handful of players visiting New Orleans for a pre-draft visit on Monday, according to a source. UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks and Washington State defensive tackle Xavier Cooper are also meeting with the team. Peters also met with the Saints staff after his Pro… Continue reading →